Working Group on the Health Impacts of Climate Change

The Working Group on Climate Change and Health (WGCCH) was launched in early 2018 in recognition of the urgency of addressing challenges at the intersection of health and climate change. The mandate of the Working Group is to identify knowledge gaps through CCGHR individual and institutional members, to communicate the current state of knowledge, and raise awareness of drivers for and changes in climate-related health.

Current Activities

  • 2020 Webinar Series hosted by members:
    • June 23, 2020 “Policy Intersections for the Global Crises of COVID-19 and Climate Change” with Chris G. Buse, postdoctoral fellow in the UBC Centre for Environmental Assessment Research and adjunct professor at the UNBC and the UBC (organizer: Johanne Saint-Charles, Professor and Director of the Institut Santé et société de l’UQAM and WGCCH’s member).
    • May 28, 2020 “Zoonoses, Wildlife and Humans in an Era of Climate Change” with Dr. Mira Ziolo, clinical veterinarian, wildlife-human interface consultant and PhD Candidate for the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at UBC (organizer: Paivi Abernethy, Climate Change & Health Specialist with the First Nations Health Authority, Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the U of Waterloo and WGCCH’s member).
    • February 10, 2020 “ The health and psychosocial impacts of floods” with Philippe Gachon, director of the Quebec Intersectoral Floods Network (RIISQ) (organizer and discussant: Johanne Saint-Charles, Professor and Director of the Institut Santé et société de l’UQAM and WGCCH’s member).
    • March 31, 2020 “Climate change and health: Working with First Nations” with Paivi Abernethy, Climate Change & Health Specialist with the First Nations Health Authority and Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the U of Waterloo (discussant: Krishna Todi, BCCI SYP representative for SFU).
    • October 18, 2020 “Governance, evidence and action: country case studies of climate change advocacy for human health” with Dr. Rosmond Adams, Head of Health information, communicable Diseases and Emergency Response at CARPHA, Dr. Ngozi N. Joe-Ikechebelu – Social Dimensions of Health at UVic and Vic Neufeld on behalf of Nicole Spence, Emergency Management Coordinator at the HEMBC (organizer and discussant: Corinne Schuster-Wallace, U of Saskatchewan, and co-chair of the WGCCH).
  • Annotated Bibliography: Student and Young Professional members of this Working Group are compiling key publications as a future resource for CCGHR members.
  • We are currently testing a listserv as a first step to developing a community of practice around climate change and health, which CCGHR members can request to join.

Past Activities

  • Policy Briefs focused on climate change and chronic conditionsinfectious diseases and health systems were developed to inform the 2018 CIHR-IDRC consultations on global health.
  • 2018-2019 Webinar Series hosted by members:
    • April 27, 2018 “Building Climate Resilience in the Caribbean: A Health Lens” with Lyndon Forbes-Robertson, Head, Environmental Health and Sustainability at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Coalition’s Corinne Schuster-Wallace as discussant (organizer: Rosmond Adams, Caribbean Public Health Agency).
    • May 31, 2018 “The Water Crisis in Cape Town” with Dr. Kevin Winter, Senior Lecturer, Environmental & Geographical Science Department at the U of Cape Town, South Africa; and with Brett Walton, Circle of Blue as discussant (organizer: Nomusa Ngoma, Queen’s University).
    • Sept. 27, 2018 “Impacts and Adaptive Strategies to Climate Change among Agro-pastoral Households in Tanzania” with Dr. Ronald Ndesanjo, Lecturer at the Institute of Development Studies, U of Dar es Salaam (organizer: Hayley Mundeva, SYPN member and founder/CEO of ThriveHire).
    • Nov. 1, 2018 “Climate Change, Migration and Humanitarian Needs” with Linn Biorklund Belliveau, Research Consultant at Médecins Sans Frontières and Affiliate at the Centre for Refugee Studies, York U (organizer: Prativa Baral, SYPN member and Research Fellow, Global Strategy Lab).
    • Dec. 4, 2018 “Webinar on Climate Proofing Maternal and Child Health Initiatives“ with Dr. Ronald Siemens, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, U of Saskatchewan (organizer: Corinne Schuster-Wallace, U of Saskatchewan)
    • March 27, 2019 “Wildfires in BC: Health effects and system implications in a global perspective” with John Lavery, Executive Director of Health Emergency Management British Columbia (HEMBC) and with Sarah Henderson, Associate Professor, UBC and Senior Scientist, Environmental Health Services, BC Centre for Disease Control (organizer : Nicole Spence, Health Emergency Management BC and and WGCCH’s member).

Useful Resources

Working Group Co-Chairs

Corinne Wallace, University of Saskatchewan

David Zakus, University of Toronto  

To learn more or get involved, please contact ccghr@ccghr.ca.